Arsenal – Newcastle United: Ramsey revels in routine Arsenal victory (2-0)
In Monday night’s quiet clash between the Premier League’s number five and fourteen, there was plenty at stake. Newcastle proved to be a tough hurdle to overcome, as they had been for many other top sides this season, but once Arsenal found their flow, they were little match for Unai Emery’s men.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
It had been eighteen days since Arsenal’s last competitive encounter. From the last eleven, which beat Stade Rennais 3-0 in the Europa League, not a whole lot had changed. Laurent Koscielny, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all away from the side due to injury or illness, with Aubameyang managing to make the bench. In their places came Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Mattéo Guendouzi and Alex Iwobi. The back three remained, albeit in a 3-4-3 shape as opposed to the previous 3-4-1-2 setup.
Rafa Benítez made one small adjustment to the side he deployed in their previous outing, a 2-2 draw away to Bournemouth. This meant Jamaal Lascelles reentered the frame at the expense of central defender Federico Fernández. Similarly, Benítez also maintained a back three, completely matching Emery’s 3-4-3 formation.
All twenty-two outfield players, depicted in a situation where Arsenal had the ball.
Arsenal’s early progression issues
Newcastle’s intent from the beginning was strong and aggressive. The midfield was very active in their attempts to close out space and pressurize Arsenal players. As they did for the lion’s share of the match, they . . .